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Should the stamp duty holiday continue?

Should the stamp duty holiday continue?

As a result of national lockdowns and other COVID-related restrictions, the never-ending burning fire that is the UK economy desperately needed some fuel – just like many of our cars these last couple weeks…

A major economic powerhouse, the housing sector, has been burning hot for quite some time and in July 2020, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak poured a full jerry can of petrol all over it. What I am talking about, of course, is the stamp duty holiday.

As a result, house prices hit record breaking highs – over 8% in December 2020 compared to the year before.

So in an economy still trying to get to its feet, why end the stamp duty holiday?

Mark Bogard, the Chief Executive of The Family Building Society spoke recently to the BBC and said

“Stamp duty is a very significant tax, but it is extremely easy to avoid by just not moving home. I can’t see any argument for not continuing with the stamp duty holiday”.

The stamp duty holiday was not the sole contributor of the recent boom in house prices, but it made a significant contribution. The impact of the stamp duty holiday created a domino effect of financial benefits for most companies relating to housing, not just new home builders and real estate agents.

Many people looking to move house spend the months leading up to the move increasing the value of their current homes through renovations. So, on top of booming sales for valuation companies and removal companies, home improvement retailers also saw industry-wide benefits.

So why keep the stamp duty tax? Encouraging people to move home with either an extended or permanent stamp duty holiday is likely to keep the housing market moving quickly – keeping all housing-related companies in healthy shape. Companies in healthy shape are companies that are going to be around for longer to pay more tax over the long term.

What do you think?

Should the stamp duty holiday continue?
  • Remove the stamp duty entirely! 50%, 2 votes
    2 votes 50%
    2 votes - 50% of all votes
  • Extend the stamp duty holiday for a few more months 25%, 1 vote
    1 vote 25%
    1 vote - 25% of all votes
  • Keep the stamp duty tax 25%, 1 vote
    1 vote 25%
    1 vote - 25% of all votes
  • Other 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 4
4 October 2021 - 10 October 2021
Voting is closed
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London house market's growth has been slow over the last year in comparison with the rest of the UK

Why is the London house market the slowest right now?

London is by far the most populated area in England. Greater Manchester has a population of over 2.5 million. Greater London has over 9 million!

According to Rightmove, it currently takes, on average, 58 days for somebody to accept an offer on a property from the moment it was first marketed in London. This stat is alarming in comparison with Scotland, where the average time is only 24 days.

So why is the most populated area in the UK benefitting from the housing boom the least?

Well, simply, slow growth isn’t a problem – it’s a sign of stability.

Most of the country is still suffering from a lockdown-infused supply problem. The number of houses being listed on the market compared to the level of demand is more even the closer you get to London.

The combination of the growing number of people being priced out of properties in central London areas and those upsizing to suburbs because of the pandemic is simultaneously driving demand down.

How else has the pandemic impacted the housing market? Click here to find out.

 

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How to exceed the expectations of home buyers in a highly competitive market

How to exceed the expectations of home buyers in a competitive market

The housing market right now is… unbelievable.

According to Nationwide, house prices have increased by 13% since June 2020. The average price for a home back then was £216,403. It is now £245,432. We haven’t seen prices like this since November 2004.

Because of market conditions and the degree of competitiveness, the average sale, today, takes only 41 days to agree. This is the shortest average time since the pandemic began.

With a market as competitive as this one, it can be difficult to be heard amongst all the noise. You need your customers to start shouting for you if you want to be the loudest. To achieve this, your levels of customer service need to be outstanding.

Customer needs are changing quicker than ever before, and customer expectations are higher than ever before. Here’s how to exceed the expectations of home buyers in a record-breaking competitive market.

Collect feedback

Firstly, you need to establish where your customer satisfactions levels are right now. To do this, you need to ask them. Send out an anonymised questionnaire or just ask your customers privately!

Choose the right time to collect this data. Collecting feedback at the end of the buying journey isn’t always the greatest idea, particularly with property sales. The process can last well over a month, and essential detail may be lost.

Remember, with feedback, you aren’t just collecting reviews, you’re trying to receive constructive criticism. You want a healthy amount of criticism because no company is perfect, and you need to find out what you could do better… constantly!

Collecting feedback is just the first step. You need to identify patterns and anomalies. Patterns are a sure sign that you have a problem. Anomalies might not always be worth taking seriously, but the most proactive companies will still investigate, particularly if the problem is severe enough.

Provide real-time communication

Communication is important in every sales process but with selling homes… the customer might just be making the most expensive purchase of their life. You might see this every day, but it’s a big deal for them. They are going to want to know what is happening constantly.

Communication between customers and sales teams is tricky. Of course, the customer is going to want to go about their lives during the sales process and, simultaneously, your sales team is going to want to continue handling other enquiries.

For sales teams to handle multiple enquiries at once from prospective buyers and existing customers, you are going to need software to help you out.

CRM systems are designed to do just that. CRM systems allow sales teams to build up a library of contacts and keep on top of leads as they get closer to a sale. For fast growing companies, bespoke CRM systems work better at streamlining sales workflow while facilitating growth. Better yet, project management systems offer a more comprehensive solution for companies that want to manage more than just sales.

Establish relationships

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

This couldn’t be truer when it comes to sales. We like to think of ourselves as more, but people are emotional creatures. Sadly, an increase in leads tends to lead to a decrease in quality for the individual customer, and people are going to remember poor service.

In the whirlwind of a typical working week for a growing business, remember that your clients are people. Get to know them, treat them well. Word of mouth is everything in this industry.

Let us help you deliver the perfect service

Take your customer service to the next level with Housebuilder Pro. Housebuilder Pro covers all your needs as new home builders, from the initial enquiry all the way to the end of the NHBC 10-year warranty period. Click here to learn more.

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Housebuilder Pro integrates with Rightmove announcement

Housebuilder Pro’s Rightmove integration

Housebuilder Pro allows all essential processes of the new home build, sale and aftercare process to take place in one centralised system. We could not achieve this without integrating the UK’s number one property website, Rightmove.

Rightmove have well over a million properties listed on its website in any given period. With that much buying and selling potential, Rightmove has become the number one place to sell homes for new home builders across the UK.

How does Housebuilder Pro’s Rightmove integration work?

It’s simple.

New home construction companies list their properties and developments on Rightmove. Prospective customers fill in an enquiry form to get in touch with the company on property listings. On successful completion and submission of the lead form, a new contact is automatically generated in the Housebuilder Pro Contacts section, with the source of enquiry set to ‘Rightmove’.

Then, when sales teams log on to the system, their leads will be in front of them, without the need to search email inboxes or log onto Rightmove to document leads.

Housebuilder Pro also facilitates the capability to automatically import leads generated through your website.

Housebuilder Pro also integrates with Yourkeys and Mailchimp.

To learn more about Housebuilder Pro, click here. To book a free demo of the software, click here.

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Housebuilder Pro welcomes CORINTHIAN

The team at Housebuilder Pro are delighted to welcome CORINTHIAN to our ecosystem.

Based in the South-West, CORINTHIAN create stunning developments. Their homes are designed for a modern lifestyle, with a flexible range for the rapidly changing needs of their customers. CORINTHIAN have always put their customers at the heart of their business, with superb levels of service at every step of the house-buying journey.

Shane James, Group Customer Experience & Marketing Director at CORINTHIAN, is always looking for ways to take their customer service to that very next level. Shane discovered Housebuilder Pro online and was impressed by what he saw:

“Housebuilder Pro looked like it would meet all our needs from the get-go and, having spoken to the team, it was quickly apparent that the system would only get better as time goes on”.

Nick Taylor, Head of Business Development at Housebuilder Pro said: “It is fantastic to welcome CORINTHIAN on board with us. The expansion of our company is certainly something to celebrate, and we are super pleased the next step has been taken with these guys – they are a pleasure to work with”.

Housebuilder Pro is a software system designed to streamline the process of building and selling new homes for housebuilders across the country. Housebuilder Pro allows decision makers of these companies to monitor their essential processes in real-time, to keep track of progress – from the customer’s initial enquiry, all the way to the end of the 10-year NHBC warranty period.

To learn more about Housebuilder Pro, click here. To book a free demo of the software, click here.

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British homes are designed to always keep heat in… is it time to rethink?

What an incredible few days of weather he have had here in UK. On Sunday, the highest temperature recorded was 31.6°C and on Monday it was around the same. The heatwave is expected to continue in the coming days.

Do you find yourself wondering why these temperatures feel hotter than they do abroad? Simply, it is because of the way we manage temperature here in the UK.

Our buildings are designed to keep heat in, and air conditioning is just not common in UK homes. Is it time for this to change?

According to a study, the average UK temperature during summer’s hottest month could reach 27°C by 2050. With a lot of us working from home permanently, it might be time to start taking temperature more seriously.

The ideal temperature for productivity is 22°C. In June, July and August, 19-21°C is considered normal.With our lack of air conditioning and our current approach to housing insulation, these temperatures are close to becoming too high for what is considered optimal working temperatures. By 2070, summer temperatures could be over 5°C hotter.

At what point should air conditioning become the norm in UK homes?

As a result of the record-breaking summer in 2018, a report by MPs found that an extra 5,000 people could be killed each year by 2050 because of heatwaves. Currently, around 9,000 deaths are caused by cold homes each year. Understandably, low temperatures are the focus in the construction of new homes, with central heating systems being prioritised. However, over the next 20 years, we could be seeing high temperatures become just as dangerous.

What do you think? Participate in our poll here.

Do you build and sell homes? We can help streamline the process, boosting operational efficiency and profitability with Housebuilder Pro software. Learn more: https://housebuilderpro.co.uk/

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5 ways the pandemic will change the way we think about housing

The most expensive thing most of us will ever buy is a house. However, most of us lead lives where we only spend a fraction of our waking hours at home. At least this was the case until recently…

Up until January 2020, before the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’, a lot of us would only spend just 9 hours at home a day on average. Lockdowns and restrictions have provoked this figure to jump up dramatically, to 17 hours.

As a result of these changes, as much as 35% of workers now consider their home as their primary place of work.

These dramatic changes to the way in which we live our lives has caused a sudden shift in the way architects are having to think about housing. Here are five ways in which COVID-19 will likely leave a lasting impact on the way we build new homes.

Flexible workspaces

Ah, the home office. If you are reading this, there is a good possibility you would have worked from home at some point from one of these. The chances are you are reading this right now from one. From a study held last year, 26% of people planned to work from home at least one day a week even after the pandemic.

Although the home office is a good temporary solution, being isolated in a single room has proven to be an unhealthy long-term solution for many.

Since the start of the pandemic, the amount of people who have experienced symptoms of depression has risen to 11% from 7% (in a study conducted on 300,000 people by Kantar Health in 2020). When you work in the same room that you relax and eat in, it becomes difficult to keep that new year’s resolution you made back in January regarding a healthy work/life balance.

The answer is to avoid sitting in one spot. Having the ability to move around and having the freedom to choose the space in which you work increases job satisfaction, as well as boost productivity.

This will be reflected in the next generation of homes. Workstations will be in more open space and more accessible than ever to facilitate this way new way of life for workers across the world.

Accommodation adequacies

With more people being at home more often, there will be an increase in demand for higher quality homes. People being forced to self-isolate have had to remain in their homes for extended periods of time – which, depending on their homes, has led to varying results of difficulty.

The home buyers of the future will demand more from their properties in terms of comfort and practicality.

Air conditioning

With the UK having notoriously unreliable summers and a cool climate, there has never been a huge demand for air conditioning in new homes. For decades, homes have been designed from the ground up to retain heat rather than expel it.

For the comfort of residents and for the benefit of employers, managing the temperature in homes is essential. British homes become ‘heat islands’ in the summer due to extensive insulation, which is far from ideal for productivity.

The perfect temperature for productivity is no higher than 22°C according to a study. A study published in the journal PLOS One suggests that the average UK temperature during summer’s hottest month could reach 27°C by 2050. These types of temperatures are sub-optimal for productivity and could be even higher indoors due to the insulative nature of Britain’s houses.

This, paired with an ever-warming climate, would be of concern to employers all over the country and could lead to shifts in design for the future of British homes. From everything between air conditioning and a new approach to insulation.

Rural renaissance

In a time where social distancing has been a large part of our lives, living in the country has become more desirable than ever. With modest population densities and low infection rates, escaping to the hills has never been more attractive for UK house buyers. With virus concerns and the increase in reliability of VOIP technology, a rural renaissance may be ignited.

Where there is demand, there is supply; new home builders will be on the hunt for plots of land in more rural parts of the country.

Green space accessibility

With working from home being a major feature in future work life, escapism will be attractive for new home buyers. Being able to ‘switch off’ after a long working day is important and nothing will promote this idea more than having access to larger gardens and open public spaces.

What we can be sure of is that, even after the lethality of the pandemic has waned away, the long-lasting impact will be felt for decades to come in the construction sector and real estate. People have recognised the importance of living in a comfortable home for future of their health and well-being over the course of the pandemic.

Do you build and sell homes? We can help streamline the process, boosting operational efficiency and profitability with Housebuilder Pro software. Learn more: https://housebuilderpro.co.uk/

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Housebuilder Pro now integrates with Yourkeys

Yourkeys is the first software platform to offer a completely integrated solution to accelerate the time to exchange, while giving every stakeholder the ability to track the purchase process in real-time in the housebuilding industry. Automating the transaction process, Yourkeys allows for greater transparency and consistency.

Yourkeys’ founder, Riccardo Dawson, recognised how painful the buying and selling process was for all parties. Buying a new home is often referred to as ‘the most stressful experience in modern life’. Yourkeys aims to add speed, efficiency and transparency to the housebuilding transaction process, taking the pressure off all relevant stakeholders with the sale of a new home.

Housebuilder Pro shares a similar philosophy, making for a fantastic collaboration. Nick Taylor, Head of Business Development at Housebuilder Pro said:

“We are very proud to form this alignment with Yourkeys and to integrate our systems, inevitably improving productivity and efficiency for our clients”.

As a result of this new collaboration, Housebuilder Pro users can now utilise Yourkeys’ industry changing digital reservation capabilities and track sales progression in real-time, all through Housebuilder Pro’s platform. Housebuilder Pro users will now be able to maximise the use of both systems without having to switch separately between the two.

Wondering more about how Yourkeys works? Click here.

Have any questions? Want to book a free demo? Contact us here.

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Fernham Homes: From spreadsheets to limitless CRM

Fernham Homes have been building homes of exceptional quality in the South East of England for over 20 years and is an award-winning housebuilder. The company has developed an excellent reputation over the years, recently being awarded a 96% rating for its customer service.

Fernham Homes have been a valued Housebuilder Pro customer since October 2020 and is, so far, the fastest new home builder to join us from the point of the initial enquiry. Fernham Homes signed up within a mere 7 days. What motivated Fernham Homes to make such a swift decision? How are they benefitting from using Housebuilder Pro daily?

Fernham Homes are always looking for ways to improve their customer service. In October 2020, Paul Rosbrook (Finance & Operations Director at Fernham Homes), was on the hunt for a sophisticated sales database. Coming across Housebuilder Pro’s website, Paul’s first impressions were solid.

“Housebuilder Pro looked like it could accommodate all of our sales CRM needs but with a lot of additional functionality”.

In the space of 24 hours, Paul connected with Housebuilder Pro’s Head of Business Development on LinkedIn and booked a free demo. Viewing the software, Paul was impressed with the transparency Housebuilder Pro offers regarding the sales process with our sales enquiry and CRM module. Within 7 days, Fernham Homes began onboarding Housebuilder Pro software.

Onboarding

The team at Housebuilder Pro have years of experience working with firms small and large. Housebuilder Pro software is designed to deal with even the largest of workloads; the importation of data such as contacts, is done without a hitch. Fernham Homes’ data was transferred flawlessly.

Fernham Homes received complimentary training, which is provided to all customers. These sessions allow the users to get the best possible value from the system. These are part of what is included in the Housebuilder Pro package, with onboarding and future sessions being delivered free-of-charge. Our team travel across the country to deliver these sessions and can also be delivered online should the need arise. This was the case with Fernham Homes, where their training session was delivered via Microsoft Teams. Here, they were shown each part of the system in detail and had all their questions answered.

Ongoing service

Housebuilder Pro’s ethos surrounding continuous improvement means that we are dedicated to the future of Housebuilder Pro software and take feedback seriously. Fernham Homes approached the team and suggested additional data visualisation tools, to monitor other vital aspects of their business operations. We gave them an answer; additional reports were added to the system, including snag types and snag overview data (you can learn more about Housebuilder Pro Reports here). Paul Rosbrook of Fernham Homes said

“We are impressed that the team at Housebuilder Pro are able to listen to our needs and act on them, with continuous development of the system”.

As a result of implementing Housebuilder Pro software, Fernham Homes have complete transparency over their day-to-day sales operations and are able to make decisions efficiently thanks to real-time data visualisations. Paul added that

“One of the real bonuses of using Housebuilder Pro software is being able to clearly see sales progress and record exactly where we are”.

Fernham Homes have found Housebuilder Pro tremendously useful; using the software extensively on a daily basis with over 100 properties listed in the system already, and with plans in place for the business to grow to 250 units per annum, Housebuilder Pro will be able to facilitate their growth comfortably.

Month on month we are adding new features, fine tuning the existing system and onboarding new customers. We are really starting to make a difference.

Improve your efficiency and workflow with Housebuilder Pro. For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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Wheatcroft Homes added to the growing list of Housebuilder Pro users

The team at Housebuilder Pro are excited to welcome Wheatcroft Homes, the second new home construction firm to implement the software in the space of 30 days.

Wheatcroft Homes, based in Leicester, was launched in 1989 and have prided themselves on delivering exceptional quality developments and customer service ever since. “As a small but dedicated team, we not only bring agility, experience and strategic expertise, but also a personal, hands-on service built on trust, integrity and openness”.

Nick Taylor, Head of Business Development at Housebuilder Pro stated that

“Housebuilder Pro has come on leaps and bounds over the last few months and is shaping up to be something really powerful. The software is constantly breaking new ground. We set ourselves extremely high standards at the start of this journey to truly make a difference and our customers are beginning to reap the rewards. Wheatcroft Homes will experience the same benefits. We are excited to have them on board”.

Catherine Haward, Managing Director at Wheatcroft Homes said

“I was looking for some new cloud-based CRM software that would enable us to manage enquiries efficiently and effectively from the first point of contact, through the reservation, sale completion and moving in process and beyond. When I stumbled across Housebuilder Pro during a Google search it seemed to tick all the boxes, as well as offer additional management tools that would enable us to streamline our processes.

I particularly liked the fact we could have customer aftercare, snag reporting and management within the same platform, rather than using different software for that element of the customer’s journey with us. The system is very easy to use and there are some simple and effective ways of tracking the progress of every enquiry, reservation, sale, and managing follow up enquiries.

The contact and help we have received so far from the Housebuilder Pro team has been excellent and they are doing all they can to ensure the data held in our previous system is captured and transferred across to Housebuilder Pro without any loss of data”.

Housebuilder Pro is a full end to end project management software system offering complete administration and operational support throughout the life cycle of the new home build, sale, and aftercare process. Our cloud-based application includes customer relationship management tools and a built-in smart customer reservation form and activity tracker to aid efficient sales progression.

Improve your efficiency and workflow with Housebuilder Pro. For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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